Summer O&M Institute
The summer O&M institute is designed to offer an intensive, three-week immersion experience into the teaching of O&M skills. It is offered in Little Rock in the month of June each summer. O&M students must attend two consecutive three-week sessions. In the first summer session students enroll in RHBL 7317 Introduction to Methods of Mobility. Students learn to teach basic O&M skills to partners who are using blindfold simulators; each alternates as a learner or instructor after observing a UALR O&M faculty member or adjunct faculty member teach the skills to them or to another student in the class. In addition, students teach basic skills to children with visual impairments from the community or from the school for the blind, where the UALR students stay during their experiences for free and where the courses are taught.
When the UALR students return to their home communities they establish continuing student teaching experiences under the tutelage of a certified O&M specialist. Upon their return for the second summer, they complete their student teaching, officially enroll in the student teaching course, and also enroll in RHBL 7318 Advanced Methods of O&M. This course is set up similarly to the introductory course but students learn to teach O&M skills in advanced environments such as on public transportation, in downtown and rural environments, and in special situations as elevators, escalators and revolving doors.
During their three week stay in Little Rock, students may elect to find their own housing, share housing with other students, or stay for free either at the Arkansas School for the Blind or World Services for the Blind. Students who choose to stay at one of these latter two facilities will be required to provide light recreational and teaching assistance in exchange for their free rooms.